Posts tagged ‘Legislature’

Legislature Breaks for the Summer; NCUA Moves Closer to Getting More Money for the Industry

The New York State Legislature adjourned yesterday, ending a bizarre hybrid session in which a spattering of members spoke from the floor while others participated via Zoom.  It was almost as strange as watching homerun balls landing into empty seats.  The legislature is not committed to coming back, but with the continuing uncertainty surrounding the state’s finances, no one would be surprised to see it reconvene later this fall.  Against that backdrop, here are a few key bills I want to tell you about today; we will provide you with a more detailed list early next week.

A bill to make remote notarization a permanent part of New York State law passed the Senate but has yet to be acted on in the Assembly.  This is important progress and yours truly remains optimistic that remote notarization will become part of New York State’s law.  The current Executive Order 202.53 authorizing remote notarization expires on August 20th.

As tough as New York’s existing forbearance requirements are, they stood to become a lot worse.  A pair of bills, A10532-A and A10544, would have extended New York’s COVID-19 forbearance requirements to commercial rentals and retail space.  These provisions would have only applied to state chartered institutions. Fortunately, neither of these bills was passed.

Finally, in a recent blog, I analyzed bill A5630A which would make major revisions to New York’s Power Of Attorney laws.  This bill has been passed by the Legislature but now must be sent to the Governor for his consideration.  If it is signed, your credit union will have six months to prepare for many of the changes.

NCUA Corporate Litigation Can Go Forward

A New York federal judge yesterday refused to dismiss a lawsuit brought by NCUA against U.S. Bank National Association.  The lawsuit claims, among other things,  that the bank, which was responsible for overseeing the trusts in which many of the Residential Mortgage Backed Securities purchased by the corporates were held, breached its contract with the corporates by failing to take action against  originators who provided mortgages that didn’t meet the appropriate underwriting standards.  By defeating this motion, the likelihood increases that NCUA will recover more money on behalf of the share insurance fund.

NCUA vs US Bank National Association

July 24, 2020 at 10:05 am Leave a comment

Legislature To Pass Coronavirus Legislation

Good morning folks.  If all goes according to plan, the legislature is scheduled to convene today for the first time since two Assembly members contracted the coronavirus.  In normal times, we would be in the homestretch of intense budget negotiations with the state’s fiscal year scheduled to start on April 1st.  But these are not normal times. Instead, one of the most challenging issues facing legislators is how to convene safely.

When the legislature does meet, one of the bills it has tentatively agreed to take up provides leave for all employees who are either subject to  a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation issued by New York State, or need to care for someone who is.  This legislation is part of a larger bill mandating that all employees be provided with sick leave.

The Governor in this year’s budget proposal originally proposed the sick leave legislation.  It implements a sliding scale of sick leave benefits depending on the size and income of the employer.

On one end of the scale, employers with four or fewer employees with a net income of less than $1 million dollars would have to provide 40 hours of unpaid sick leave in the calendar year.  In contrast, employers with 100 or more employees in any calendar year would have to provide at least 56 hours of paid sick leave.  This is a tentative deal and if there are changes before the bill is passed, we will let you know.

Incidentally, if the legislators are looking for helpful bills to pass in this time of crisis, one measure they should consider is legislation authorizing remote notarization services.  Many other states already have legislation providing for remote electronic notarization. In tomorrow’s blog, I will provide you all with some information about the impact that the virus is having on mortgage lending – and options that policymakers have to streamline the lending process.

 

March 18, 2020 at 11:16 am Leave a comment

Good Riddens To The Filibuster

Yesterday the Senate evoked the so-called nuclear option, by changing the senate rules with a simple majority to force a vote on Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.

This is one of those issues that have been screaming at my newspaper about, so let me take a break from talking about the financial issues of the day to tell you why I am so agitated. When I hear people wax nostalgic  about the filibuster, it is kind of like hearing a movie critic extolling the virtues of the play he saw at Ford’s Theatre. Or, better yet,  it is like the guy at the bar drowning his sorrows  who fondly remembers the good times with his “crazy “girlfriend who was, in fact, crazy.

The simple truth is that the filibuster is an antiquated vestige of a bygone era that increases voter disenchantment with the legislative process by imposing a super majority requirement on the passage of bills no matter how important they may be. Yesterday’s rule change only applied to Supreme Court nominations but it is only a matter  of time before  the senate moves to limit the filibuster’s use in stalling l legislation.  For me the change can’t come soon enough.

Today’s filibuster isn’t Jimmy Stewart’s filibuster which required a dedicated group of legislators to publicly refuse to yield the senate floor so long as they could stand up and keep talking.

By the mid 1970’s a senator didn’t have to be physically present to vote to continue a filibuster and senate procedures introduced a dual track. Under this approach,  the senate can move on to other legislation while the filibustered  legislation remains frozen.

All this means is that the modern day filibuster is no longer about a determined minority willing to take a stand against legislation it doesn’t like; rather it is a de facto requirement for a 60 vote super majority to pass legislation.

This isn’t a recipe for thoughtful deliberation but an invitation to obstruct on a grand scale. It’s what keeps a simple majority from voting to restructure the CFPB or reconsider the Durbin Amendment.

For those of you, such as the Association’s Vice President of Governmental Affairs, who insist that the filibuster ensures that the legitimate  points of the minority party can’t simply be ignored. I say this has more to do with changing political realities than with any procedural safeguards.

The filibuster has never been what made the senate a collegial body. Just a generation ago, you had liberal northeast republicans who worked with southern democrats and conservative Dems who worked with republicans. Today such bi-partisanship is an invitation to be primary.

I am glad I got that off my chest, thanks for listening.

Have a great weekend.

April 7, 2017 at 9:18 am Leave a comment

Accounting Standards Finalized

Greetings from Saratoga Springs where we are, of course, holding an annual convention.  Incidentally, a very reliable source told me that Saratoga is the birth place of the American Bankers Association.

To the dread of credit unions everywhere, the FASB finalized its Current Expected Credit Loss Standards (CECL).  Why are credit unions so concerned about this?  Because the accounting standards, when fully implemented in 2020, will require financial institutions including credit unions to anticipate potential losses on loans and account for them earlier in the loan cycle.  This means, that if the standard works as anticipated, financial institutions will have to put more money aside to account for losses.  A second concern credit unions have is that complying with the new standard will require them to adopt and invest in sophisticated analytical tools to better project anticipated losses.

The FASB has been adamant that many small institutions will be able to comply with the new standard using their existing practices.   In a document accompanying the release of the final standards yesterday, the Board explained that “most organizations should be able to leverage existing systems and processes to comply with the new standard, and organizations will not need to forecast economic conditions over the entire contractual life of long-dated financial assets.”

I would save this quote for your examiner simply because, while I believe that many fears about this new standard have been exaggerated, I agree with those who argue that the key to the successful adoption of this new standard will hinge on examiner education.  Of course, this is one that you should sit down and discuss with your accountant.

Legislature Goes Into Overtime

The New York State Legislature is still not quite done completing its work so is still in session today.  I will provide a recap of the legislative session in Monday’s blog.  Try to contain your excitement.

June 17, 2016 at 8:14 am Leave a comment


Authored By:

Henry Meier, Esq., Senior Vice President, General Counsel, New York Credit Union Association.

The views Henry expresses are Henry’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Association. In addition, although Henry strives to give his readers useful and accurate information on a broad range of subjects, many of which involve legal disputes, his views are not a substitute for legal advise from retained counsel.

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